Service deliveryAdult Social CareDigital resources for social care workers and employers

Digital resources for social care workers and employers

Care Friends app and Careers Zone by Community Care have the potential of being a welcome solution for both social care workers and recuiters in the UK

Social care workers, employers and jobseekers will receive a digital boost thanks to two recent updates.

Community Care has launched its Careers Zone, a free part of the Community Care website to support social workers through every stage of the jobseeking process. There will be new content published, which will be produced in association with the Local Government Association (LGA) and written by social workers and social work managers with expertise in recruitment and interview processes.

In another update, Care Friends app – a new mobile app that ‘gameifies’ the employee referral process, has recently received EU funding. Launched by Neil Eastwood, CEO of social care recruitment specialist Sticky People and adviser to the government’s national social care recruitment campaign, the app allows care workers to share a job with their contact list in exchange for a point, which equates to £1. The EU funding will be used to pilot the Care Friends app with various care providers across Cornwall this summer.

More guidance in the jobseeking process

Based on the feedback and suggestions, Community Care launched this new and expanding part of the site to help support social work jobseekers with their job search.

Resources include free downloadable CV templates, tips on writing CVs, advice on preparing for interviews and pointers on what you should know about an employer before applying.

Community Care helps social care workers stay up-to-date with the latest and most significant developments in practice, law and policy to help them to change lives for the better and flourish in their careers. The organisation also support social work employers and leaders to recruit and retain high-quality practitioners and develop their staff to the best of their abilities.

Similarly, West Sussex County Council has launched a one-stop website for jobs in the care sector across the county. The Proud to Care website helps users find and apply for a variety of jobs in care across West Sussex and get information about what it’s really like to work in the jobs.

More than 90% of social care workers don’t refer

Eastwood recently piloted the app with a home care provider and the concept took off.

He told delegates at the LaingBuisson Social Care conference in London: “Usually, less than 8% of staff refer their friends. When we put the app in, a third of the workforce started to refer people.

“If you extrapolate that more widely across the workforce, our 110,000 vacancies in social care would be gone in a few months. So the potential to tap into the community connections of caring people in the workforce I think is potentially very exciting.

“There’s lots more to do, but I’m very optimistic that we have potentially nailed something here that could be transformational in terms of a workforce.”

Social care workers also receive bonus points for ‘good behaviour’, such as completing training, receiving a complement from a clients and standing in for a shift, as well as sharing a job with someone who is new to care.

“What we find from employee referral schemes, and what we know from Skills for Care data, is that there is a lot of churn in the sector,” said Eastwood.

“People are moving from one local provider to another and my fear was that we can’t put in a scheme that is going to fast track churn, so what we’ve added is a bonus of 25% points for care staff who find someone who is new to care. So what we are trying to do is get people to reach out to those people working in supermarkets, as well as beauticians and teaching assistants, and bring those people with the right values into the sector. So we think this will create a multiplier effect.”

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